Find Good Food & Fun Down on the Farm!

Every now and then, we all need a break, especially those from the city! What better way to relax and have some fun than to go out in the country and spend some time with farm life.

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Whether your farm adventure includes enjoying animals in a petting zoo, going for a horse back ride or a hay ride, or many other fun farm activities, the whole family is sure to have great fun! In the West Michigan area, there are many places to visit with the family for a fun day on the farm. How about picking some fresh fruit right from the orchards? There are many U-Pick farms in the area to get the freshest, juiciest, most delicious fruit from, and the whole family can have fun picking their share! Or visit a farm market in the area and get fresh fruit and produce that was just picked the morning of, as well as homemade baked goods and other delicious delights. At the end of the day, no matter which activity you choose, you'll feel refreshed and relaxed after a day outdoors.

Family Petting Zoos

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Children love to spend time with animals, getting to know them in the petting zoo. It's such a fun learning experience, and a great way to expose your children to the outdoors and farm life in a family friendly atmosphere. Below are local petting zoos and family friendly farms to visit.

  • Lewis Farm Market & Petting Zoo: 4180 W. M-20, New Era, MI 49446 (231) 861-5730
    Enjoy a 700 acre farm in New Era, Michigan. Family owned and operated, with home grown produce, fruit orchards, market with gifts and goodies, and a bakery. Enjoy lots of activities for family fun from May through October each year including a petting farm with a wide variety of animals and birds!
  • Pajama Llama Ranch: 8697 N. US 31 Hwy., Free Soil, MI 49411 (231) 907-3030
  • Circle Rocking "S" Children's Farm, Inc: 5487 Tuttle Road,
    Free Soil, MI 49411 (231) 462-3732

  • Horse Shows and 4-H Exhibits

    Every year, the Western Michigan Fair is held at the Mason County Fairgrounds, and several other surrounding locations. The Fair is a great opportunity for a fun family experience, especially for children. Families can enjoy the amusement park rides, 4-H exhibits, as well as many other activities including the Demo Derby.

    Fairs and 4-H Exhibits in the Area Include:
    • Western Michigan Fair
    • Manistee County Fair, 2014
    • Oceana County Fair.

    • The Mason County Fairgrounds in Ludington is a busy place from May-October, with a variety of horse shows for the equestrian. Throughout the season Ludington plays host to the Mason County Saddle Club Open Horse Shows, Gold Coast Futurity Horse Shows, and the MIHA District IX Meet. See the horse show schedule for the summer here.

      Horse Rides for All Experience Levels

      Nothing beats riding a horse through a field or trail, feeling the wind on your face and sun on your back, and the strong muscles of the horse along your legs. Whether you're a pro at riding a horse, or you've never had the opportunity to hop on a horse's back, these horse ranches are sure to provide a fun-filled day of horseback riding!

      • Rainbow Ranch: 4345 S. 44th Ave. New Era, MI 49446
        (231) 861-4445
      • Double JJ Resort: 5900 Water Rd., Rothbury MI 49452
        (800) 368-2535
      • Mosher Meadows Arabian Horse Farm: Rothbury, Michigan 49452 (231) 343-9577 or (231) 343-9577

      • Farmer's Markets and U-Pick Farms

        Photo Courtesy Christofferson Farms
        There's no fruit or produce better than fresh-picked off the farm! Especially when you can pick for yourself! Visit this page for local U-Pick farms.

        How about some homemade bakery items and treats to add to your day? Or fresh fruit and produce from local farms, picked the morning of? It's important to know exactly where your food comes from, and the process it takes to get to your plate. By shopping at a farm market, you can be sure to get your hands on fresh food from local farms who can control exactly what happens to all the food, so you know where exactly it comes from.
        Visit this page for local Farmer's Markets

        Places to Stay on the Farm

        Have you ever wanted to stay the week on a farm to experience the farm life? Or maybe just to enjoy your time in the country? Bring the family to Windswept Farm, a charming farmhouse near Ludington, which features alpacas, miniature horses, Shetland sheep and more. Kids will absolutely love the variety of animals at Windswept Farms. They're very gentle and are extremely wonderful with children. The four bedroom, two bathroom house includes a deluxe kitchen and can accommodate 10 people. It's definitely a "home away from home" and makes for a really nice family vacation.

        Are you looking for a barn venue to host a special event such as a family reunion? Shagway Arts Barn is the perfect setting to have a special event. There's even a gazebo tent available to set up in the surrounding 40 ares! The Barn and many of the surrounding areas are handicap accessible, as well as the bathroom on site.

        In addition, Trillium Creek Rustic Barn & Cottage Rental is a beautiful craftsman style house and rustic barn venue used for weddings, birthdays and parties. Trillium Creek offers a 4 bedroom home and a renovated 30x45 rustic barn for your event. Packages are based on the number of guest.

        For more great vacation ideas for the family, read our family fun story.

        Want to learn more about all things family in West Michigan? Visit Lakeshore Family Guide and "Like" us on Facebook at

        For more activities & attractions, check out these additional links for Things to Do in West Michigan:

        West Michigan Map
        Ludington Activities & Things to Do -- Play on a beautiful beach, take a tour at Historic White Pine Village, or explore the barn quilt trail, murals or sculptures in the county--Ludington offers many fun things to do for the entire family!
        Have Fun in Manistee, Michigan -- Explore Manistee's historic downtown district and riverwalk, hike the Manistee National Forest, canoe on the Manistee River, and more.
        Hamlin Lake -- Just 4 miles north of Ludington, Hamlin Lake is a great destination for boating, fishing and climbing dunes! The Hamlin Lake shoreline is also part of the Ludington State Park.
        Silver Lake Sand Dunes -- Visiting the Silver Lake Sand Dunes makes for a terrific vacation because you can take your off-road vehicle for a spin on the scenic sand dunes overlooking Lake Michigan and Silver Lake.
        Things to Do in Pentwater, Michigan -- Nothing is quite like the quaint, artsy, harbortown village of Pentwater. Don't miss the popular Charles Mears State Park beach on Pentwater's Lake Michigan shoreline.
        Lots of Activities in Scottville, Michigan -- Explore the Riverside Park along the National Scenic Pere Marquette River.
        Canoeing or Fishing on the Pere Marquette River -- Many boat liveries offer canoe rentals.
        Also, check out West Michigan Guides and our locally produced directory for our largest lists of Things to Do in West Michigan.
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Last Updated: 11-28-2023 02:26 PM ID: 1594